Thursday, 5 August 2010
Reading Dilemma N'2
Taste in books is such a personal thing. We all have very different opinions about what makes a good book and, of course, we all have our favourite genres. For this reason I don't think it's fair to force your personal taste in books onto other people and it irks me a great deal when people try to do it to me. By way of example; my wife doesn't particularity like fantasy books so the last book I would ever think of lending her would be one with a dragon or an angry looking dwarf adorning the front cover.
Anyway, a few days ago a work colleague whom I get on with very well came up to me and said “Hey, you like books don't you? Read this one; it's one of my favourites” almost immediately I break out in a cold sweat and find my eyes darting around the room, searching for the nearest door through which to make my escape whilst calling out over my shoulder “So long, sucker!” Alas he is blocking the only exit. I look down at the book he has thrust upon me then start making fevered excuses; “Well, thanks” I say, trying to sound sincere and genuine “But I already have about 30 books I have to read so it'll be ages before I get around to this one” Perhaps I was hoping he would take his book back once he realised it would be a long while before I would get to it. Not a bit of it. He says in such a tone of enthusiasm that I begin to feel something akin to complete despair “This is the best book I have ever read, it changed the way I look at things” I am now going into complete meltdown; I didn't ask to borrow this book, I don't want to borrow this book especially since it now becomes clear my friend loves this book and will be desperately offended if I don't like it. He even has the front to tell me (Not ask me, you understand, but TELL me) that I should put aside all my other books (including the one I have just started) and read his one immediately and, then he drops the bombshell, he has another one to lend me straight afterwards!!
I'm sure by now you are wondering what on earth the book is? It's called 'The Shack' by WM Paul Young and is described as 'Christian fiction'. Well, I am a Christian myself (I even go to church from time to time) but I have very little interest in these kinds of books and I feel more than a little annoyed that I am now expected to put down the book I am reading (and enjoying) In order to go through the potential ordeal of reading 'The Shack' before all the great books in my TBR pile. I am very unhappy about the whole situation especially since I didn't ask to borrow any books from him. Call me over dramatic but he is really testing our relationship!
Of course there's the added dilemma that I might not like it. I can hardly tell someone that I thought one of his favourite books was terrible so I have the added stress of having to tell him a little white lie and say something like “Oh it's alright but not my kind of thing really” (I'm certainly not going to tell him it changed my outlook in life)
Yesterday, two days after lending me the book my work colleague came up to me and asked me if Id read it yet. “No” I replied “I'm still reading Jurassic Park” “Oh no!” he exclaimed 'Oh yes' I thought 'and you'd better get used to the idea'